2022 Toyota Corolla SE Apex Overview: Not Quick, Nonetheless Enjoyable

The Apex makes use of the identical 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine because the Corolla SE and XSE, producing 169 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. This can be a completely acceptable engine with sufficient energy to make the Corolla really feel energetic round city whereas sustaining good total effectivity.

Reinforcing its sporty demeanor, the Apex is out there with a guide transmission. The six-speed within the Corolla is an effective one, with low-effort (although considerably long-throw) shifts and a slick automated rev-matching system — one thing we’re used to seeing on costlier sports activities vehicles. The clutch is gentle and straightforward to modulate, making this an incredible automobile for first-time stick-shifters. General, the six-speed actually ups the Apex’s enjoyable issue.

The Apex package deal brings another cool modifications together with a “sport-tuned exhaust,” which is de facto simply Toyota-speak for “louder.” You additionally get some gold-colored physique trim and, most significantly, a retuned suspension.

Make no mistake; the Corolla Apex is not some filling-rattling observe rat with rock-hard dampers. It is nonetheless appropriate for around-town use regardless of being notably stiffer than a normal Corolla, and this up to date suspension tuning genuinely pays dividends on winding canyon roads. The 18-inch Dunlop SportMaxx summer season tires (which can be found as a no-cost possibility) do an excellent chunk of the heavy lifting, elevating the Corolla from a fundamental commuter to one thing you’d really need to drive for enjoyable.

Physique roll remains to be current within the Corolla Apex, however it’s lowered sufficient to make the sedan manageable on a curvy street whereas additionally enhancing the feeling of pace. The Mazda MX-5 Miata makes use of an identical method: In case your automobile is leaned over barely in a nook, you are feeling such as you’re driving more durable and going sooner than you actually are. It is the basic “sluggish automobile quick” argument at work, and it actually will increase the grin issue of this little Corolla.

In fact, you possibly can’t speak concerning the Corolla with out speaking concerning the gasoline economic system. In my testing, I used to be capable of match the EPA’s claimed 31 mpg mixed determine with out an excessive amount of effort. These numbers slip a bit once you throw a bunch of spirited canyon driving into the combo, however not as a lot as you would possibly assume. If you happen to go for the Apex’s automated transmission, mixed gasoline economic system rises to an EPA-estimated 34 mpg.

2022 Toyota Corolla Apex interior

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2022 Toyota Corolla Apex interior

This inside is snug and sturdy.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The 2022 Corolla’s inside is fundamental however snug, and that extends to the Apex. The supplies really feel like they will be hard-wearing over the lengthy haul and the entire touchpoints contained in the automobile are nicer than you would possibly anticipate, particularly given the Corolla’s low worth. Nothing inside is lush, and you are not going to persuade anybody in any other case. Nonetheless, this can be a automobile that feels constructed for the abuse of day-to-day driving whereas retaining some sense of high quality and luxury. It is a tough steadiness to strike, however the Corolla does it nicely.

The Corolla’s onboard tech checklist is affordable as nicely, each relating to infotainment and security. You get customary Apple Automotive Play and Android Auto performance on the Apex’s 8-inch touchscreen. Toyota’s underlying multimedia system is not good, however it’s completely usable and responsive, particularly when utilizing cellphone mirroring. One factor I want you might get on this spec is the JBL audio system, which might be welcome, even at an elevated worth. It is obtainable as an possibility on the XSE and XSE Apex trims, however going there requires you to ditch the guide transmission.

Security tech is plentiful and largely customary, due to the inclusion of Toyota’s Security Sense 2.Zero suite. This bundle of driver-assistance applied sciences brings in automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning with steering help, automated excessive beams and adaptive cruise management (sure, even with the guide). Toyota will get bonus factors for together with hill begin help with the six-speed, too.

2022 Toyota Corolla Apex in silver

This automobile is extra enjoyable than you may think.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The 2022 Corolla SE Apex with a six-speed guide transmission will price you $26,735 together with a $1,025 vacation spot cost. At that worth, this sedan competes with the likes of the Hyundai Elantra N-Line, which provides barely extra energy (201 hp) for barely much less cash ($25,395 together with vacation spot). Nonetheless, the Hyundai lacks adaptive cruise management, and its styling may drive some patrons away. For a bit of extra money, you may get the brand-new Honda Civic Si, which provides 200 hp and is each way more engaging and extra entertaining to drive.

In that firm, the Apex sits squarely in the midst of the pack. However I think the Corolla’s popularity for longevity will show engaging sufficient to lure some individuals to the Apex, a automobile that is surprisingly entertaining — particularly in the event you shift your individual gears.

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